Rooster Fight!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mmjc, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. mmjc

    mmjc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2013
    Woodstock, VA
    I need help!! Okay, I have two coops and each flock stay separated - one flock has 1 rooster with 11 hens and the other flock has 2 roosters with 3 hens. Reason for two separated flocks is that the flock of 5 were hatched this past spring and have all been together since hatching. I had not introduced them to the large flock for fear of the roosters not getting along. The two roosters in the flock of 5 get along just fine because they've been together since day 1. My large flock free range and the smaller does not. They stay in their large enclosure.

    Well, today I let the smaller flock out to free range for a bit under my supervision. In an instant the two roosters were fighting and going at it! It was one of my "baby" roosters and my "grown" rooster from the large flock. My worst fear!! They're both covered in blood! I grabbed the "baby" and my daughter grabbed the "grown" one and we took them (separately) into the utility sink to try to clean them up. Luckily it looks worse then it is. They both suffer from small scratches on their heads but nothing wrong with their eyes, beaks or anywhere else. The bleeding has stopped but their feathers are still stained. We put both flocks into their enclosures. Now my 2 "baby" roosters are going at each other! They've NEVER had a problem. Will they now not be able to be together?? I don't know what to do. I have them separated for the time being. Have the injured rooster inside the coop with the door shut and the other outside in the enclosure. I can't keep him shut up in the coop day in and day out though. Please advise! I really don't want to get rid of one of them.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    As you have probably figured out, the adult rooster is going to fight any rooster that comes near his flock. Hopefully once the young roosters calm down they will become peaceful once again. The probability is that they will continue to fight. I once had a large flock of free range bantams. The young cockerels would get along all summer long. During the first fall rain all HECK would break out. I finally figured out that what triggered the fighting is that they looked different to one another when wet. All pecking order positions were forgotten and the wars were on. Dry the injured rooster off and get him looking as normal as possible. Take his brother away from the hens and introduce the 'fighter' to the hens. Wait until all is calm and reintroduce the second rooster. This may or may not work. Good luck. Sadly this is part of the maturation process of young cockerels.
     
  3. mmjc

    mmjc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2013
    Woodstock, VA
    Thank you for the advice!! Yes, I knew that the older rooster would claim his territory which is why I'm so glad I stayed out there to supervise because it would've been even worse! I was just more shocked that the two brothers are going at it now. I couldn't tell who the aggressor was between the two of them because they just started going at it so quickly. I'm wondering if it was the injured one who now thinks that all other roosters are enemies or the other brother because the injured one is covered in blood. Either way, I just want them to live in harmony like before! I will do that....I will clean him up and get him looking back to normal and try to reintroduce. I have the injured rooster inside the coop with a hen and they're fine. He seems to be just fine with the hens, it's just his brother that was the problem. I've heard that if you separate them though then it's hard to reintroduce them again which is what I'm afraid of. I'd rather do it sooner rather then later but also wanted to let them cool off for a while. Thank you again!
     
  4. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2013
    I would assume that the elder rooster saw an opportunity to either add to his group of ladies, or possibly lose some in his group to the new roosters and he went rooster. Since you had not introduced the roosters at an earlier age (before maturity) and a pecking order has not been established the elder rooster and younger roosters may never be able to live together. Since the younger roosters did not back down I would say they are mature. I am sure the experience kicked up their testosterone levels.

    Now that you have separated them again, the younger roosters may be establishing a pecking order between them for the right to breed their females. As a result they too may need to be separated. Otherwise in order for the pecking order be established a fight will be an almost certain outcome between males. Once the pecking order is established you may watch for both roosters to be taking their liberties on the ladies even if they are unwilling and not ready.

    If you truly want to keep all the roosters with no bloody battles, you may end up with three separate flocks. I would suggest 4-5 girls per rooster. Or you may be able to do two roosters and the fourteen girls. Perhaps you can introduce them again at a later date as three separate flocks. For three rooster living together with hens, I think you need a lot of girls and a lot of space.

    Keep us posted...

    -Frozen Wings
     
  5. mmjc

    mmjc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2013
    Woodstock, VA
    I think you're absolutely right! I know that had to have been what happened to start it off to begin with. The two younger roosters were hatched together with the 3 hens and all 5 have been together all along with no problems. The older rooster is back with his flock of hens and just fine, but now the two younger/brother roosters are starting to fight. They were not the 2 to initially fight. So now I'm just worried if this battle has now "scarred" them and now they're feeling spunky and want to claim dominance over their 3 hens within their flock or is it just because the one brother (involved in the fight) is still bloody and looks different to his brother?? That's my main concern. If it's just them maturing and being roosters and this was kind of the turning point, then I'll separate them and unfortunately have three flocks, but before I remove them completely I want to be sure...without having another blood bath though! I just want the 5 of them to be in harmony like they were an hour ago! It has literally been a matter of an hour or two and it's like they've never been together now! Both younger roosters are getting along with the hens it's just each other.
     

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